Photo of buffet by Tim Meyer on Unsplash

The Career Buffet

You’re standing in front of a buffet.  All sorts of food displayed temptingly in front of you: dishes from every corner of the world, fish, meat, vegan, veggie, not to mention burgers, chips, rich desserts, fruit, and other sweet delights.  Oh, and drinks of every variety as well. 

You’re hungry so you immediately start tucking into the first dish that takes your fancy and you select something to drink to go with it. You can have as much as you like.

Then, when you’re feeling replete, you go off to do something else, knowing that when you come back, you’ll again be presented with that wide selection.

With everything else that’s going on in life, sometimes it’s easier just to stick with the food you know and like

However, you’re aware that it’s not always what you enjoy & it doesn’t always make you feel good. 

Occasionally you give yourself the chance to try something else & you notice it makes you feel better. You want to have more of that.  

Over time (years maybe), you gradually refine your diet to one that suits you. It nourishes your body in all the ways it needs.

A career is very similar

In your late teens/early 20s, you just have to start somewhere.  You have your first few tasters of work.

Bit by bit, you have more experiences. Some bits of what you do feel good. Some give you indigestion. But over time, it becomes clear that certain types of activity nourish you more than others. 

As a consequence, you refine the career decisions you make. You choose to do work that nourishes your mind, soul and spirit in all the ways that they need. 

Some activities also feel more meaningful than others

You begin to pay attention to what it is that makes them so.  Perhaps you’re using your strengths more; maybe you’re being active in an area that engages your attention; you recognise when you feel energised; you realise that you care about the outcome.

It’s no longer just about meeting your needs. It becomes clear that the most satisfying work comes from being able to express who you are in service of something bigger than yourself.

Ultimately it’s about meeting the needs of others and those of yourself.

It begins to make sense. You understand why you do what you do. You have a sense of purpose AND a sense of direction.

Getting your career nutrition right

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